August 19, 2015

The Electric Mayhem and Vintage Roland Stuff

I was just watching The Muppet Movie (1979) and I noticed something interesting...

Here we have Zoot with a Roland TR-77 drum machine.

And here's a shot of the whole gang with a Roland Space Echo just above Scooter, and the 77 is just under it. 

I used to watch this movie all the time, but I probably hadn't seen it in about ten years. I noticed all sorts of things that never occurred to me before. Maybe I should write a review. Would you like that?

July 2, 2015

Sonia Manzano Retiring from Sesame Street After 44 Years

Sonia Manzano the actress who played Maria on Sesame Street for the past 44 years is retiring. It makes me kind of sad. I grew up with Sonia, she was always my favorite human on Sesame Street. She always seemed more real than any other humans on the show. She had deeper emotions; she would get frustrated and angry sometimes like that amazing scene at a grouch restaurant with Sandra Bernhard in Sesame's feature film Follow That Bird. And sometimes she would get legitimately sad: there's another scene in Follow The Bird where Maria is reading a letter from Big Bird that ends with Big Birds asking "What's wrong with me?". I remember once I was watching that movie with my little sister (I think I was about fifteen years old and she was about six), when we got to the part where Maria reads the letter my sister stopped watching it because she said it was too sad.

Looking back now it's interesting to realize how beautiful Maria is - something you don't really notice as a kid. But she really is stunning. She even inspired this Buzz Feed post a few years ago called Maria from Sesame Street Was Hot. But really, it's all about her personality. She was never a cardboard cut out of a person. She was a person who would get annoyed, scared, upset, happy, sad, etc... and she'd always learn from her mistakes. 

Here is an amazing scene where Maria is nervous about asking for a raise at the fix-it shop:

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch Follow That Bird. It was robbed at the 1985 academy awards.

Sonia, thank you for all the years and sincerity you've invested in children's education. You are a national treasure!

June 30, 2015

June 7, 2015

Grey Town, Lilith, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in that grey town in C.S. Lewis' Great Divorce. I become more and more specific in what I like that everything outside of that narrow window is completely uninteresting to me. And this pushes me away from other people and closer to myself. I think it's a good thing for an artist, but very bad for a person. And since I am both (in a lose sense),  it's hard to find the right balance. Sometimes I think I've found it and then I sink into a reclusive state for days on end and feel somewhat crushed by my own... well, I don't know what really. My own tastes? My own self? But it's hard to want to continue relationships with people when all you ever had in common with them was drinking a little more than one should. I think it's important to continually experience new things, learn and grow. But I don't think that necessarily means taking on new friends and relationships and more than one can manage. Life!

This Friday the C.S. Lewis Society will be discussing George MacDonald's Lilith. I've just started reading it. So far it is my favorite thing I've ever read by MacDonald. Almost has a Great Divorce feel to it.